Forget Manchester City’s record-breakers and Arsenal’s incredible defence. It’s time for the unwanted records and awards from the 2023-24 Premier League season.

And so, just like that, the Premier League is over for another year. Manchester City won a record fourth straight top-flight title, Arsenal ran them very close, and Jürgen Klopp signed off with an emotional goodbye after almost nine years at Liverpool.

But what about the teams, players and managers who didn’t grab the headlines for the right reasons? Don’t they deserve a little time in the limelight?

We think they very much do, so we’re here to run through the most notable unwanted records that the 2023-24 Premier League season produced.

Most Shots Without a Goal

Ryan Christie took 43 shots over the 2023-24 campaign but failed to find the net even once. That’s 15 shots more than any other goalless player.

Most of the Bournemouth midfielder’s shots were from distance – many of them were extremely speculative – and his 43 efforts amounted to just 2.3 expected goals as a result. But there were a fair few shots from inside the penalty area that he would have hoped to score from, including the best of the entire bunch in the final seconds of the final game of the season.

Ryan Christie xg map 2023-24

The biggest and best chance of Christie’s whole campaign came in the 94th minute at Chelsea on Sunday. The ball fell to him from a rebound just outside the six-yard box with the goal gaping. It looked for all the world like Christie would finally get his goal. He lined up to slot in an equaliser…

Ryan Christie shot

… but Conor Gallagher lunged in and blocked it. Gutted.

Worst Save Percentage

Crystal Palace’s third-choice goalkeeper, Remi Matthews, was called upon only once all season – with 87 minutes gone in the home game against Liverpool in December. The scores were tied at 1-1 at the time and Palace were down to 10 men.

Matthews ended up on the pitch for more than 16 minutes due to a huge amount of time added on. In that time he faced two shots, one of which – struck by Harvey Elliott – hit the target. He failed to keep it out, meaning he ended the season with a 0% save percentage.

Maybe we should be looking at someone who played a little more football? Well, Andrei Radu played two games for Bournemouth, faced 11 shots on target, and conceded seven goals, leaving him with a 36.4% save success rate. But six of those goals came in a big defeat to Manchester City. So, maybe we should also look at goalkeepers who didn’t have to face City…

Nottingham Forest’s Odysseas Vlachodimos’ record is arguably worse. He had a 45.5% save percentage from five games played, but none of them were against any of the top three. He faced 22 shots on target and conceded 12 goals, including five against Fulham. He also let in four goals over two FA Cup ties against third-tier Blackpool.

odyssean vlachodimos goals prevented 2023-24

Most Substitute Appearances Without Starting

Naouirou Ahamada made eight sub appearances for Crystal Palace in the second half of 2022-23 following his January move, and made 20 more this season. He is still yet to make a single league start for Palace.

Up until Matchday 36 of this season, Ahamada had made 19 substitute appearances totalling just 263 minutes – an average of less than 14 minutes, with no single appearance of more than 26 minutes.

Then, he finally got a chance to play a bit more as Palace went to Wolves on 11 May and Will Hughes went down injured in the 14th minute. Oliver Glasner turned to Ahamada and the 22-year-old Frenchman was all set for his first taste of first-half Premier League football.

It largely went well, with Palace scoring twice in the first 14 minutes with Ahamada on the pitch, and eventually going 3-1 ahead. Only, Ahamada’s afternoon was cut short when he picked up yellow cards in the 82nd and then 85th minutes and was sent off. That meant he was suspended for Palace’s final match, ruling out the possibility of a start, and securing this award with a game to spare.

Most Chances Created Without an Assist

Burnley’s Jacob Bruun Larsen takes this award, having created 25 chances without registering a single assist. He might have got his first assist of 2023-24 in the final game, though; the only big chance (defined as one that you would expect the player to score) he created all season came in the final-day defeat to Nottingham Forest, when he pulled the ball back for Zeki Amdouni, who was 10 yards from goal.

The striker leaned back, though, and skied his effort well over the bar.

jacob bruun larsen chances created 2023-24

Worst Record Compared to xG

Everton suffered right from the start of season from forwards being unable to finish their chances, and that continued all campaign. Even shipping out Neal Maupay didn’t work.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was the worst culprit come the end of the season, scoring just seven goals from 12.9 xG, with his underperformance compared to his xG of -5.9 the biggest negative differential in the entire division.

dominic calvert-lewin xg map 2023-24

Brennan Johnson (-5.6) and Darwin Núñez (-5.4) ran him close, but in the end Calvert-Lewin clung on at the top of this list.

Worst Individual Performance Compared to xG

Speaking of Darwin Núñez, he holds the record for the worst single display in front of goal in the Premier League in 2023-24.

Against Newcastle on New Year’s Day, the Uruguayan had eight shots worth a combined 1.7 expected goals but failed to find the net. Luckily for Núñez, his teammates scored four goals and Liverpool ran out 4-2 winners.

Over the campaign, there were 19 instances of a player failing to find the net despite having chances worth more than 1.0 xG. Núñez is the only player to appear more than once in the list, and he’s on there three times (1.45 xG vs Chelsea and 1.14 xG vs Aston Villa). Impressive stuff!

Lowest Game Time (above zero)

Tyler Onyango appeared for just 104 seconds with Everton 4-0 down to Aston Villa back in August and then wasn’t seen again. Will he ever appear in an Everton shirt again? This is one to watch for 2024-25.

Most Penalty Misses

In a season that saw penalties scored at a record-breaking rate, Mohamed Salah was the only player to miss two. He alone accounted for 18.2% of failed spot-kicks in 2023-24.

The Egyptian’s success rate from the spot of just 71.4% was way down on the overall success rate, which was above 90%. For a player as clinical in front of goal as Salah, it was a disappointing return.

Most Cards

Chelsea broke the Premier League record for the most cards received in a Premier League season, racking up 109 in total, with 105 of them yellows and four reds.

With referees instructed to be stricter when it came to time-wasting and dissent, we were always going to see more cards dished out this season, and three of the four worst offenders in Premier League history were in 2023-24 (Wolves with 104 cards and Sheffield United with 100, as well as Chelsea).

Nicolas Jackson deserves a special mention for picking up 10 yellow cards but only one of them being given for a foul. Six cautions for dissent alone really is some achievement.

Nicolas Jackson Yellow Cards

Most Fouls Without a Yellow

Burnley didn’t win a lot this season, but they now have the consolation of two appearances in this list. Forward Lyle Foster committed 24 fouls without picking up a single card – more than anyone else in the Premier League in 2023-24 (you’ll never sing that, etc).

Most Yellows Without a Foul

At the other end of the scale, goalkeepers Bernd Leno and Thomas Kaminski picked up three yellow cards each without committing a single foul. All three of Kaminski’s were for time-wasting, while two of Leno’s were for dissent.

Newcastle’s Matt Targett and Tottenham’s Alejo Véliz were the only outfielders to be cautioned without committing a foul, both picking up one yellow for time-wasting.

Most Points Dropped From Winning Positions

If Brentford could hold on to a lead, they’d have qualified for the Champions League this season.

That is quite obviously an unfair simplification of the situation, but the numbers add up. Thomas Frank’s men dropped 30 points from winning positions this season. With those points on top of the 39 they did hold on to, they’d have beaten Aston Villa to fourth place.

Only four teams in Premier League history have dropped more points after taking the lead in a season, with Brentford’s 2023-24 the worst performance in this regard in 16 years – since Tottenham dropped 33 points from winning positions in 2007-08.

Most Minutes Played Without Touching the Ball

Kaine Kesler-Hayden, a 21-year-old Aston Villa academy graduate, made his Premier League debut as a substitute in the win over Wolves in late March. He came on in the 96th minute but didn’t touch the ball.

Not to worry, though; he got another chance to get his first touch when he was brought on after 94 minutes in the win over Bournemouth a few weeks later. Again, though, he didn’t touch the ball once.

On the final day of the season, he must have thought his luck would change. With Villa losing 5-0 at Crystal Place, Kesler-Hayden entered the fray on 87 minutes – with plenty of normal time plus injury time to go. He played the rest of the game, taking his total Premier League game time for Villa to 12 minutes and 51 seconds, but once again, that precious first touch of the ball eluded him.

Hopefully, next season he’ll get a chance to show the fans what he can do other than just run around the pitch in a full kit.

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